A fire crew had to launch a rescue boat to save a seagull dangling 10ft (3m) above the River Wear.
The seagull was unharmed during the ordeal on Saturday
The bird had got its wings caught up in fishing wire after landing on a old phone cable over the river in Chester-le-Street, County Durham.
The RSPCA called for assistance and fire officers used a rescue boat to get under the animal and cut away the wire to bring it to safety.
It was handed over to the RSPCA but was not injured in the ordeal on Saturday.
Station manager Pete McDermott, from Durham Fire and Rescue, said: "The poor thing was dangling by its wings. We don't know how long it had been there.
"Luckily we were able to cut away the wire and, using a pole with a hook on the end, safely got it down.
"It certainly drew the crowds, lots of children had gathered on the riverside to watch what was going on."